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Potpie recipes, plus something yummy to make with pie crust

I seem to be averaging about a post a month on potpie lately, and I have to tell you, I’m THRILLED with all the comments. This is exactly the sort of topic that made me want to start this blog!

Last time, I mentioned I had more to come, on the recipe for potpie rather than just focusing on the slippery-vs.-baked debate. A lot of today’s comments are based on this recipe I first posted in May.

Lorie wrote in and says, “Looks good, I use real chicken broth instead of canned chicken soup. When I was a kid we always had fun throwing … ummm gently placing the noodles in. My kids always liked helping making the noodles and … gently placing the noodles in too. I sent my pot pie recipe to my daughter in Arizona, and she is going to try to make it and then explain what it is to her friends there.”

Wow, that’s awesome – potpie goes cross-country!

Jo writes, “That could be my mother stirring the pot! She made the most delicious chicken pot pie and some times beef or ham pot pie. Same deal except for the meat and its broth. Melanie hit it right! As for a crust topping – those were always meat pies – as in chicken pie, ham pie, beef pie, etc. They always had veggies too – usually peas/corn/potatoes. I never knew of any such pie being called pot pie.”

Commenter “Wildhare” says, “I could put my gramma Nora in that picture and it would be Sunday morning right after church and we would be getting ready for lunch around 1 PM. Gramma would make her own noodles from scratch, pick a chicken or two, using the chicken broth for the base, boil potatoes, add in onion and some saffron and egg yolk for the yellow coloring. That was the big pot of slippery pot pie but Gramma also made a baked pot pie with a crust and just drain the juice and put the slippery pot pie in and bake it. This was always served with a wilted lettuce salad with bacon dressing. If there was any pie crust left over she would make us rolly-pollys. For the non-PA Dutch that is rolled out pie dough slathered with a healthy dose of butter and then sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar and rolled into a log that was sliced into little bites and baked. Boy do I miss those days – Gramma died in the mid-80’s at 98 but I have all her recipes.”

This ridiculously yummy-looking cinnamon-sugar pie crust photo is by flickr user cygnus921.

Melanie said her grandma and mom used to make those “rolly-pollys” too! She writes, “Exactly like that! Only we called them ‘dooby-hinkers’ or ‘doo-hinkies.’ No idea why we called them that, though!” (So, the Joan take on this? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this, but I never had a name for it at all – just, “Mom, please make the stuff with the extra crust!”)

And then Wildhare thought of another type of potpie.

She writes, “I forgot that my dad also made an oyster pot pie but he baked it in a crust with oysters, potatoes, onion, parsley, white corn (not yellow for some reason) and the pot pie squares. All of it was simmered in a pot of chicken stock or a couple of hours and right before he put it in the pie plate he added the oysters. I don’t remember us eating the oyster pot pie out of the pot – it was always baked. Melanie I never heard of the rolled treats being called ‘doo-hinkies’. One of the stands at Eastern Market sells a long log that is a rolly-polly that wasn’t cut. (It is the stand across the aisle from Miller’s meats. They sell a bunch of different desserts and salads.)”

York County Girl says, “My Nan always put potatoes in her pot pie. I can remember as a little girl, covering her kitchen table with flour and rolling out dough for the squares (she always made pot pie in bulk for the entire family) and of course, ‘gently’ dropping the squares into the pot. I have her recipes, and hers for pot pie is quite similar to the one posted … except for the potatoes and she always used chicken broth. I also remember the wilted lettuce salad with bacon dressing being served with pot pie (we called it “hot lettuce”!) … and she also served it with her sausage and potato pie … which was just that … sausage, potatoes and the broth from cooking it, baked into a homemade pie crust. Sooo good. She’s 83 now, and hasn’t made any of these things in years, and I’ve been too nervous to try them myself (her food is legend in my family!), but maybe I’ll give it a shot for family dinner this Sunday…thanks for the inspiration!”

And my good friend and longtime correspondent Barb K., who, among many other things, writes a monthly food column for me, shared her thoughts on the subject. She says, “Enjoyed your potpie recipe but Ken (Barb’s husband) asked me to let you know you forgot something – where are the potatoes? I agree, it is slippery potpie, (because it is not baked with a crust) but in the south this might be considered chicken and dumplings or something close to it because – no potatoes. My mom and mother-in-law made some of the best chicken potpie around and they always added potatoes. They made their own dough – rolled as thin as possible. I can remember Mom teaching me to make it – started with a pile of flour in the middle of the table, made a hole in the center for the eggs and mixed it with her hands until it was ready to be rolled out. They both used real chicken broth, (never heard of using cream of chicken soup) and cooked the potatoes and dough, chicken and onion in the broth. Yes parsley and sometimes saffron. Stirred as little as possible so as not to break up the potpie noodles. They made beef potpie too, same way, but chicken was the best!”

I did get a kick of one particular comment, from “MBKrebs,” who writes, “Those ‘outsiders’ who are so puzzled by what they’re being served when they order ‘Pot Pie’ should be as particular about ordering it as they are at a Starbucks (no one goes into a Starbucks and just orders ‘coffee.’) … And I know there are many different kinds of meat substituted for the chicken, but I’m a purist – no squirrel, venison, or other varmint for me!”

Well, thank heavens, no one submitted THOSE types of recipes! (Actually, I do like venison, but I can’t say I’ve eaten a lot of other game meat.)

Finally – one last word about the potpie name. Dianne correctly pointed out that the Pa. Dutch name is bott boi. (Food Network even agrees!) And Lorie says, “I think that bott boi originally referred to thick stew, which is what the PA Dutch style is. As you can see somewhere along the way it got changed to Pot Boi and pot pie.”

And that might help explain where the “pie” name came from, even though our style has no crust!

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